Former British Vogue Stylist Pippa Holt has collaborated with a community of weavers in Mexico to create a line of handwoven belts to wear with the kaftans.
Originating in a town called Santo Tomás Jalieza, known as the ‘belt town’, this group has been making belts for many years in techniques passed down from their ancestors. The colourful pieces are handwoven in cotton on a backstrap loom. Master weaver, Abigail, weaves the finest and most intricate of patterns on small looms on her well lit patio. Her work has won national awards.
This is a pre-Hispanic technique that continues to be used without major changes over the centuries. The complexity of the work that can be created on this loom is limited only by the skill of the weaver. The entire loom with the weaving in progress can be rolled up at any time and carried from place to place.
The belts feature depictions of sacred animals, geometry, feather dancers and the animals and plants they see in their daily life, which is interwoven with fine cotton in vibrant details.
The technique of using a backstrap loom consists of securing an end of the loom to a tree or post and the other end to the waist of the weaver, maintaining the tension with the weight of the body, the women sit on straw mats, feet folded, wide leather belts sit on their lower backs, providing hand placement that is conducive to the creation of sophisticated patterns.
* Each belt comes in a handmade clutch bag made from palms.